Ants are a common pest in many parts of the world. Because there are many species, it would be impossible to cover them here individually in a meaningful way.  However, we have do have a separate web page on Carpenter Ants because they are of economic importance.  You may link to that page by clicking here.

Control Methods

      For some species, elimination of breeding spots such as mulch and other decaying organic matter near a structure can be helpful.  However, once ants start appearing inside,  we recommend the use of bait products as an effective control method.

Bait Stations - Convenient, Low Risk

     Of all available bait forms, bait stations offer a convenient, low risk approach for pesticide application. Although often referred to as "traps", these products are actually feeding stations where insects can enter and then move the bait to the ant colony.  The product that we recommend is Maxforce FC Ant Bait Stations.   These may be applied both indoors or outdoors, but for best results, they should be placed areas that are well trafficked by ants and away from the sun and rain.   They are effective for a range of ant species.

     When using bait stations, try to leave the areas near the stations undisturbed; cleaning or washing areas near them removes the scent trails used by other ants need to find the bait.

Granular Baits

     Another type of bait is granular bait.  We offer Niban FG Fine Granular Ant Bait, a food based bait treated with 5% orthoboric acid    It may be applied by evenly spreading the product or applying it into cracks and crevices as directed.  Because this is a fine granules product, it us suited to range of ant species including pavement ants, pharaoh ants, acrobat ants and little black ants.   But it will also work for larger ants such as carpenter ants.

     Advance Carpenter Ant Bait, which may be applied around the outside of the structure and controls a variety of ants, is best suited for larger ant species such as Carpenter Ants due to its larger particle size.  Smaller ants may be able to take the bait, but they may not be able to bring the relatively large granules into the smaller nest entrances.  Nonetheless, this product may be used for a number of ant species.

      Though this products may be applied indoors, its fish based food ingredient has an odor which some may find objectionable and thus applied into cracks and crevices.  On the outside, the manufacturer recommends that it be applied in one or more piles from which the ants can grab the bait.    

     An additional granular bait product that we offer is Maxforce Complete.   This product contains a variety of grit sizes to appear to a range of ant species.   This product is weather resistant.    

Gel Baits  

     Finally, many professionals are using gel baits for ants.  There are several on the market.  Based on our experience and feedback from commercial applicators, there has been a great degree of success with   Maxforce FC Carpenter Ant Gel Fipronil, the active ingredient, is "contagious" and affects ants that make physical with it or consumed the bait. 

Traditional Methods

     Residual insect sprays can still be used for most ant species.  Most effective is a perimeter treatment applied on both sides of a building's exterior walls. Outside, treatment should include areas around door frames, window frames and application to the foundation and any other areas that are vulnerable to entry by ants.  Inside, treat around the door frames and window frames as well as along baseboard areas.  Additional treatment of damp areas may be required in kitchen and bathroom areas.  Liquid insect sprays are best applied as a pin (jet) stream using low pressure rather than using a fan spray.  

     There are many liquid and dust materials that may be applied for control of ants.  We sell three products for ant control: Alpine Insecticide Dust, Drione Dust and Permacide P-1. To see our full product offering and prices, click here.

We're Here to Help 

     We invite you to contact us if you need more information. In the US, you may also contact your local, county Cooperative Extension agency. They may be reached by checking the local telephone directory under county listings.  You may also click here to link to Cooperative Extension's National Link to their state affiliates (If you are outside the US, pick any state - there is valuable information here!).  To contact us, you may call during our normal 8 am to 4 pm ET weekday business hours at 800-433-1128 or 845-356-2837. 

E-mail may be sent to drbugclinic@bugclinic.com.  If you do not receive a reply, please let us know by resubmitting your letter.  We get a huge amount of SPAM and we may accidentally overlook your inquiry.

Your questions are welcome.  Our advice is free and friendly!